Savoy firefighters land $190K grant to replace aging tankers


SAVOY -- Few vehicles from 1973 are still on the road.

But in Savoy, the Volunteer Fire Department's 41-year-old tanker is still answering calls alongside one built in 1987.

Now, with a $190,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security grant, Savoy Volunteer Fire Department will replace both of its aging tankers with a brand new model, Chief Lawrence Ordyna announced on Monday.

The funding comes through the 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Program and will be boosted with $15,000 from the town of Savoy and $15,000 from the fire department to purchase what is estimated to be a $210,000 to $225,000 truck.

"We're going for a tanker because we have no hydrants out there," Ordyna said.

In addition to an improved ability to fight fires, the new tanker will also meet national safety standards for the firefighters using it. Both older trucks failed to meet those standards, according to Ordyna.
"They just don't meet the requirements. The safety restraints aren't there, the braking system isn't there, and they're overweight," Ordyna said.

The new truck should keep Savoy's Insurance Services Office, or ISO, rating at an "8b." The rate, which affects insurance costs for homeowners, was recently improved from a "9," Ordyna said.

"The good thing about it is it's going to be manufactured to hook into our other attack pumper," Ordyna said. "Without spending a lot of time, we'll have about 4,500 gallons of water plus the [flame retardant] foam."

Firefighters likely won't miss the old trucks. One was purchased decades ago as military surplus, Ordyna said. The other was a fuel delivery truck that firefighters modified into a tanker.

"That's how departments have to survive," Ordyna said.

And while the $190,000 grant is a huge boost for the department, it doesn't signal the end of its fundraising efforts. With the new truck comes a need for new equipment such as hose, nozzles and forestry equipment, Ordyna said.


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